I have a wonderful guest to introduce to you for In the Armchair.
L. Spooner just completed work on the audiobook for my second literary fiction novel, Hidden Colours. It’s a circus novel set in Berlin, with a wide cast of diverse characters and when I read about L. Spooner’s acting background and heard their sample, they sounded like the perfect fit. I particularly loved their voice for Isaiah, a young graffiti artist.
You can get the audiobook here and listen to a sample. I’m thrilled with it. When the last line had been recorded, it was a perfect time for me to ask L. Spooner if they minded me prying into their process.
Over to L. Spooner…
What brought you to your career as an audiobook narrator?
I was looking for a way to use my skills as a performer outside of stage shows, as any theatre productions I could have tried to be involved in were suspended during lockdowns. Being an avid reader, and having done some voiceover work in the past, audiobooks seemed like a channel worth exploring. A chance encounter through Twitter got me my first audiobook job in late 2020, and things have been improving from there!
How do you look after your voice while you are working on a project?
I swear by Jakeman’s throat lozenges and lots of tea with honey! It’s important to take breaks as often as possible, and when I’m working on a book I try my hardest not to speak too strenuously elsewhere. I’m very prone to catching colds, which can be a pain as I don’t want to sound stuffy on a recording, so tissues and cold medicine on hand are always a must as well.
Which was your favourite character to read from Hidden Colours?
I loved reading as Katharina Richter, Ellie’s mum. She’s such an eloquent, fun, and interesting person, with a hidden depth of character that really comes out in the advice and insights she provides for her daughter.
What other creative pursuits do you have?
I spend a lot of my time throwing ideas around for short stories – I have a huge folder of writing snippets and concepts that I hope to turn into bigger things someday! I also love to cook and bake, experimenting with flavour combinations and using what I know to come up with something tasty, and I play TTRPGs frequently. I love to lose myself in roleplaying and performing for a few hours a week.
How do you choose the projects you work on?
Generally, I look for an interesting story premise at first and then narrow it down by seeing whether my vocal skills fit what the author is looking for. From there, I look for stories that are well-written and easy to understand from a narration point of view. If I can read through a dialogue piece involving multiple characters and always know who’s speaking, that’s definitely a plus!
L. Spooner lives in the UK with their husband and their extremely energetic little dog, where they work full-time as a campaign manager in a marketing agency.
During their spare time, they like to sing, bake, read, get angry about things on Twitter, and try out new character voices while playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Find their work and more info at lrspooner.com.
Each evening, nestled in Berlin’s Treptower Park, the immigrant circus comes to life.
When Yusuf fled Syria, he lost everything. Now the circus, with its middle-eastern flair, is the only home he knows. When the lights go on, the refugees dazzle their audience, but off-stage tensions flare.
Ellie is passionate about the circus and drawn to its broken people. Even so, if she wants to keep her job at the newspaper, she must head up a campaign against it.
One night, in the midst of a show, two young circus boys come to blows. With the circus at risk of closure, Ellie must convince her readers that we can have compassion for those we fear, or Yusuf will be forced to uproot again.